Western New York Heritage

McLeod's Hotel & Exchange Street - c. 1930

McLeod's Hotel and Restaurant, a well-known railroad hotel, corner of Exchange Street and Wells, downtown Buffalo.

McLeod's office and lobby.

McLeod's dining room.

The Exchange Street view of McLeod's. Why would a hotel renowned for its menu and always packed with travelers appear here like a rooming house?

Because McLeod's was directly across the street from the New York Central Exchange Street station. These images were taken after the opening of the new Central Terminal in East Buffalo in 1929. The downtown businesses that depended on overnight railroad travelers were immediately devastated. Within two years, McLeod's closed, the Broezel Hotel at Seneca and Wells also closed, numerous buildings were demolished on the west side of Exchange Street, and the old Matthews-Northup building was demolished. The Exchange Street station itself was torn down in 1935, leaving only platforms for the few remaining commuter trains that stopped daily.

The New York Central Exchange Street terminal was opened in 1854. It was less designed than evolved, with parts being added on as need for space necessitated. This scene is a busier 19th century image.

View of the station and train sheds.

The only sentiments expressed at the terminal's demise were of past historic moments that were obliterated with the decaying structure.

1900 map of the McLeod's and Central Terminal neighborhood. The red-shaded building is McLeod's; the green-shaded structure is the Exchange Street NY Central terminal. Visible also is the Hotel Broezel at Seneca and Wells. Not labeled is the other building sharing the block with McLeod's, the large square structure; it is the Heywood-Wakefield plant, also featured as a photo-of-the-week here.